2023 Best & Brightest Business Major: Katherine Hyde, South Carolina (Darla Moore)

Katherine Hyde

University of South Carolina, Darla Moore School of Business

“Stubborn. Not in the way that hinders success, but in the way that fosters resilience.”

Fun fact about yourself: Participated in a five-day summer seminar with the Naval Academy in high school. Lived the life of a Plebe for a week and gained information and life skills that I would implement constantly in my college career. Among the skills were organization, perseverance, and handling rejection.

Hometown: Laurel, Maryland

High School: Reservoir High School

Major: Finance, Risk Management and Insurance

Minor: Data Analytics

Favorite Business Course:

FINA 490 – Investment Banking Practicum: This course allowed me to find my love for Investment Banking and start my journey to finding a career within the Investment Banking sector. Finance 490 provided me with the tools and resources to make a full 3 step valuation, as well as gave me the opportunity to present to distinguished individuals within the field. It taught me to polish my presentation skills and the importance of quick problem-solving. Taking this course led to be a monumental step in my finance education; I was able to thoroughly understand the work I produced. Along with the previously mentioned takeaways, there was one I found to be the most important of all: “Prepare until you can completely explain and present the topic.” If you know something to the extent that you can teach it, you have almost mastered it.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

President – Carolina Fund

  • Lead weekly meetings teaching students how to complete the three main valuation techniques: Discounted Cash Flow, Comparable Companies Analysis, Precent Transactions
  • Covered stock valuations within the following industries: Health Care, Financial Institutions, Real Estate, Consumer, Technology, Industrials
  • Increased attendance from around 30 people per week to around 70-100 students
  • Prepared students for Investment Banking recruiting via presentations, as well as the rigorous Finance Scholar application process

Finance Scholars

  • Completed the Elite track within the Finance major that provides accelerated training in valuation and analytics utilizing Excel, Bloomberg, and CapIQ
  • Took separated, advanced sections of the Finance main courses and electives with an emphasis on modeling, analytics, and an application to real world financial cases

Darla Moore School of Business Ambassadors

  • Represent Students’ interests at the Darla Moore School of Business and facilitate the daily operations at the Welcome Center, the Center for Business Communication, IT, and Office of Career Management
  • Speak on behalf of the 5,550 students at Darla Moore and act as a liaison and student representative to the Dean to promote the best image possible for the school to make sure students voices are heard
  • Lead three-to-five tours per week to represent the university to potential donors, business partners, and prospective students

Vice President of Finance – Alpha Chi Omega

  • Help manage over 300 thousand dollars in dues for a 300-person sorority as well as handle the funding/payments around 10-chapter events through a transparent financial environment during a global pandemic

Professional & DEI Committee – Alpha Kappa Psi

  • Actively organize and create workshops in the Professional Business fraternity to enhance the fraternity and prepare members for the industry they choose
  • Help produce DEI Instagram posts events for the entire fraternity and school for Black History Month, Pride Month, Woman’s History Month, etc.

Finance Staff – Dance Marathon

  • Worked in a leadership position in the largest student-led philanthropic organization on campus with over 2,200 members and that benefits the Prisma health Children’s Hospital Child Life Program
  • Tracked fundraising totals and benchmarks of Dance Marathon participants by consistently updating and configuring various Excel spreadsheets to forecast and achieve fundraising goal
  • Managed over $1,000,000 in funds by utilizing DonorDrive software and meeting with Finance Staff members weekly to ensure proper utilization of funds

Where have you interned during your college career?

Northrop Grumman – Business Management Intern

  • Interacted with users, customers and the Business Management team members in a unique internship environment that promotes advancement in skills regarding teamwork, networking with financial experts, and connecting with the leaders of the company
  • Gained first-hand experience on excel quick keys as I navigated through multiple excel documents editing specific contracts to be as accurate as possible for the Contract Setup Group at Northrop

J.P. Morgan Chase

  • Aided in the management of multiple live deals including the benchmarking of peers, sum-of-parts analysis, and valuation analysis
  • Produced a presentation on a potential merger of equals between two transportation companies, C.H. Robinson and J.B. Hunt, involving an analysis of comparable companies, DCF, leveraged buyout, accretion dilution, and the value creation of the hypothetical deal

Where will you be working after graduation?

J.P. Morgan Chase – Investment Banking Analyst – Diversified Industries

Verticals Include: Paper and Packaging, Transportation, Defense Contracting, Metals, Chemicals, Capital Goods

Who is your favorite business professor? Dr. Eric Powers’ ability to lead an interactive classroom and push his students to evaluate problems unlike they have ever done before is very inspiring. He pushed our Finance Scholars class through an intense Harvard Case Pack, and we left that semester understanding extremely technical topics. I thank him for also understanding how I learn through asking questions; his appreciation of this, rather than frustration, is something I am very grateful for. I will never forget the moment I was contacted by someone from Jefferies Investment Bank, and they had mentioned to me how, “Dr. Powers raved about your participation and curiosity in class.” Being recognized as a student with that reputation meant the world to me, and you can bet I’ll never stop raising my hand in future classes to come! Often, us women are pushed to produce perfection, and this keeps us from asking questions or working through problems with others. Dr. Powers showed me that the real perfection is found in active participation and learning, and that was refreshing as a student.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? The biggest lesson I gained from studying business, and more specifically finance, was the power of financial literacy. When I took the class “Student Managed Investment Fund”, I was able to handle the financial advising of 1.3 million dollars through purchasing ETFS and individual securities. My study of the holding BAT, or British American Tobacco, on Bloomberg and Capital IQ showed me that investing is not as daunting as it appears to be. With accurate research and the right resources, you can find a ton of telling information on stocks. It encouraged me to start my own portfolio to better prepare myself for my future and retirement. I have also seen a striking difference between the men I worked with over summer and their financial literacy, versus my female coworkers. I started encouraging my female friends to research investing and have also shared the podcast, “Girls That Invest” with a lot of them. One thing I do want to pursue in the future is find classes marketed to woman that can act as an introduction to investing and financial safety.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Through the various tours I give at the business school, I always tell the prospective students to take advantage of the 4-year business programs provided by universities like the one we have here called the “Excellence Initiative.” This is an amazing opportunity, as it allows you to get into introductory classes freshman year. Knowing your major first thing when you start school can be incredibly stressful. Through this program, you are introduced to so many classes you might not have taken originally. I personally was intending to major in accounting, but due to this program I was able to take introduction to finance early and fall in love with it. I also boast about this program due to the fact that it encourages students to get involved in the internship search a year earlier, as they already have learned a ton of information they may need to know. The amount of Darla Moore School of Business sophomores who have summer internships proves this statement!

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The most surprising thing about majoring in business, and most specifically at Darla Moore, is the fact that there is an immense number of opportunities and applications for majors in multiple fields. I am so amazed at all the different jobs I was qualified for through my double major. To set yourself up with this versatility and complexity is so useful in life. I am ecstatic to be working in a field like Investment Banking, where the deals that I complete might just be the norm for me. For the CEO of the company, this is the biggest thing professionally they will do in their entire life. To be a part of something that monumental surely surprised me.

Looking back over your experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently in business school and why? I personally wish that I would have taken more classes out of my comfort zone. Currently for my Data Analytics minor, I am taking a Supply Chain Operations class. It is inherently directed toward Supply Chain majors, but I have loved learning everything the class has to offer. If I had done this earlier in my degree, I could have really made use of my electives and taken classes not just because they might have paired well with my finance major, but for my own professional growth and success within my career.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? During my freshman fall, I was faced with the challenge that my parents highly recommended I not join a social sorority until sophomore year. Being the over-involved person I am, I was not able to sit and do nothing. I went out the first week of school and decided to rush the Business Fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi. Upon receiving a bid from a 15% acceptance rate, I soon realized I was the only freshman girl in my pledge class. This made connections much harder for me and allowed me to learn early on into college how to connect with people who might not be the same as me. Little did I know, this business fraternity would shape my entire college career, the jobs I applied for, and every extracurricular involvement I had. I am extremely proud of freshman year me for making this out-of-comfort zone decision, as it has truly transformed what college means to me.

Which classmate do you most admire? Shannon Goss is one of my dear friends and the first person who came to mind who I admire. The reason I chose her for this specific prompt is primarily due to her involvement. However, involvement is only the bottom line of why Shannon is an outstanding student. She constantly has a smile on her face, from her participation in ROTC here at USC, to her part-time job to pay fully for college on her own, to being a University 101 peer leader and much more. Shannon is the definition of a go-getter with the most positive energy. I am inspired by her work ethic, and I take her positivity and try to implement that in every aspect of my life. Shannon chooses to not dwell on her struggles and the cards she has been dealt, but instead chooses to take them in stride and make them look easy.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? When applying for the Finance Scholars program, I felt a sense of imposter syndrome. Despite struggling with this phenomenon throughout college, Dr. Neihaus helped to dispel this fear for me. His support and belief that I could do big things, the first of them being admitted to the Scholars Program, meant a lot to me. He showed up for the program, providing us with endless tips and tricks for the recruiting process and would even send various opportunities our way. I have not yet had the chance to tell this to him to his face, but all the scholars can feel how much he believes in us and our abilities. That is all you can ask from a professor!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I hope to get extremely involved in the business resource groups at JPM, and most specifically the Woman on the Move group. I recently sat on a panel for the organization’s Make a Play and Woman on the Move collaboration. I got to talk about my experiences in the early insight program and how they led me to the firm. I hope to continue this involvement and inspire more female USC students to participate in the program. As far as career steps, I hope to break into Private Equity and possible obtain an MBA, but I also do not want to just follow a path just because my peers are doing the same. I hope to lead my career through passion and interest, rather than status quo.

What are your hobbies?

  • Running – I hope to run the NYC marathon one day!
  • Baking – I think this is a form of connection you can have with people and a way to show you love them!

What made Kate such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2023?

“Kate is a model student who works hard and is always curious about what is underneath the next layer of any topic. I greatly appreciate her effort to give back and be a mentor to other students. The students in the Finance Scholar Program are given a big leg up from the turbo-charged education that they receive as well as better access to a network of well-placed alumni. Kate and other members of her Scholar cohort have been instrumental in passing down that knowledge via the Carolina Fund and passing down those networking connections via groups like Alpha Kappa Psi.”

Eric Powers
Associate Professor of Finance and Department Chair

“Kate Hyde brings positive energy and enthusiasm to everything she does. And she does a lot! She is President of the Carolina Fund, a student organization that teaches other students security valuation techniques. She is a Student Ambassador for the Darla Moore School of Business. She also was the Vice-President for Finance for the Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity. She does all of this while being an A-student with two majors (Finance and Risk Management & Insurance) and is a member of the highly selective Finance Scholars program. In her spare time, she is avid runner. She has accepted a position at JP Morgan Chase & Co as an investment banking analyst.”

Greg Niehaus
Professor of Risk and Insurance


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